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BYU football: Williams 'in great standing' with program despite arrest, Bronco Mendenhall says

Published March 26, 2014 8:44 am

BYU football • Cougars running back arrested for underage drinking last month.
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Provo • Two days after news of his arrest for underage drinking last month became public, BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams practiced with his teammates on Tuesday, but was not made available to speak to reporters after the two-hour workout.

However, coach Bronco Mendenhall addressed the situation, if only briefly.

"Don't know when, don't know how," Mendenhall said, when asked when he first learned about the arrest, which happened on Feb. 16. "But it has been addressed so long ago now between he and I that I don't intend to address it again. He is in great standing with our program. Was, and is now, and will be going forward."

When a reporter started to ask a follow-up question about whether Williams faced a suspension or other disciplinary action, Mendenhall cut him off.

"There is no follow-up [question]," Mendenhall said. "I've already answered it."

Williams, 18, entered a not guilty plea to the charges in Utah County Justice Court and is being represented by attorney Aaron Wise of Spanish Fork. The next hearing on the case is set for May 7 in front of Judge Stevan W. Ridge.

Busby retiring

Longtime BYU director of football operations Duane Busby announced Monday that he is retiring from BYU and college athletics to pursue other interests. Busby has been associated with the football program in some capacity for nearly 20 years.

Mendenhall got a bit emotional when he was asked about Busby's departure on Tuesday.

"You don't replace him. Personal friend. Trusted advisor. Essential to our success over the past nine years, and to me personally, and [wife] Holly," Mendenhall said. "He's not replaceable. Duane is understated, and he asked me specifically not to make a big deal about it. So that's as big a deal as I can make it. I will miss him."


Offensive linemen Brayden Kearsley (academics) and Ryker Mathews (injury) practiced for the first time on Tuesday. Mendenhall said they looked "tired." … Mendenhall said he picked Wichita State to win the NCAA Tournament when he was asked how his bracket was doing. … Quarterback Taysom Hill said he reached out to injured basketball star Kyle Collinsworth (ACL surgery) because he went through many of the same experiences after blowing out his knee.

drew@sltrib.com —

Saturday's scrimmage

O At LaVell Edwards Stadium, 11 a.m.

• A 40-minute clinic for kids in eighth grade and younger will begin at 10 a.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m., admission to both events is free.




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